“The most humbling thing one can do is to look upon how Jesus responded to suffering and mistreatment. His whole life was ordered around the attribute of meekness. It was his greatest pursuit. From the moment He was born the Father was contemplating His own humility in the person of His Son. Love would be openly displayed as Jesus went lower and lower. Anyone who truly looks upon the man Christ Jesus and His meekness will be left staring at the great mystery. How can One so strong be so tender as He stoops so low? Looking upon Jesus is the great sanctifier to areas of pride and anger in the human heart.” – Allen Hood, the Associate Director of IHOPKC
“Don’t mistake my kindness for weakness”. I remembering first seeing this phrase several years ago. I think I saw it on Xanga (wow…)! Anyways, there’s something about this phrase that resonates with me though and has stuck ever since. Maybe it’s because I am allergic to weakness, or rather being seen or thought of as weak. The last thing I want is for someone to think I am weak. Isn’t that why we hide so well? Hide behind our accomplishments or by bragging about who we know or even by emotionally checking out… Isn’t that why when someone hurts us, we hurt them back? We cut them deeper. Hurt them where they’re most vulnerable. Because even if I am weak, at least I am not as weak as you. I may bleed, but the wound I left you is a fatal blow. All because we just don’t want anything to do with weakness.
Another thing that I find myself being really sensitive to is when I am mistreated. Anything that hints at mistreatment sets off a dozen internal alarms. How dare someone treat me like that? Why would someone do that to me? Don’t they know who I am? Don’t they know who I know? And on and on it goes… When I am mistreated, I want swift justice. Actually, I want vengeance. I want them to pay. I want them to learn a lesson.
This is the harsh reality of my own heart… I avoid all weakness at all costs, and I fight back against even the littlest trace of mistreatment. Yet this is so foreign in the heart of Jesus. He didn’t care about what people thought of Him or even how people treated Him. In fact He embraced weakness, mistreatment, injustice, mocking, suffering, and more. He did not care if He was misunderstood. He never stopped to explain Himself or justify His actions or correct people’s skewed views of Him. Wow… You can mistake Jesus’ kindness as weakness, but it takes true strength to endure all that He did. Instead He sought to kill them with His kindness. To kill all that was within them and us which seeks to put ourselves first. That which He sought to kill was the pride in our hearts… He says to us, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:29)
Teach me, Jesus. Amen.